• An internet addiction treatment facility in China placed children in solitary confinement for up to 10 days, according to a report from CNN.
  • Four men from the detox-style camp have now been sentenced to prison, with one man receiving a three-year sentence.
  • Internet addiction was classified as a clinical disorder in China in 2008, leading to a rise in such facilities. The government has since taken measures to curb heavy internet use, like instituting screen-time limits for young gamers.
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Four men in China are being sentenced to prison after they placed children at an internet addiction camp in solitary confinement, according to a report from CNN's Ben Westcott.

The camp, called the Yuzhang Academy and located in China's Jiangxi province, was intended to be a detox camp for internet addiction. The four men running the facility confined 12 people - 11 of whom were under 18 - to solitary confinement for up to 10 days, according to court documents reviewed by CNN.

The men have since been sentenced to prison, with one man receiving as much as a three-year sentence.

Young people have been harmed at internet addiction facilities in the past. In 2017, an 18-year-old man died two days after being checked into a camp, his parents saying they discovered bruising and scars covering his body. A 15-year-old died in 2009 after suffering beatings at a facility in Guangxi province, and a 19-year-old died in 2014 after being repeatedly dropped and kicked on her head and neck.

China declared internet addiction a clinical disorder in 2008, making it the first country to do so and leading to a rise in treatment facilities. The nation has one of the largest internet user bases in the world, with more than 900 million residents online and 93% of minors using the internet.

Both the government and major Chinese companies have taken measures to curb heavy use among young people. In 2019, the Chinese government introduced new gaming restrictions for younger users, barring users under 18 from playing between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and restricting them to only 90 minutes of gaming on the weekdays. And companies like Tencent and ByteDance have added parental controls and age verification checks for young users.

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